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Cohesion funding at a crossroads: the push for performance-based allocations
As the EU prepares for its next budget cycle starting in 2028, there are growing calls to fundamentally reshape how cohesion funding is allocated, potentially tying payouts to the achievement of specific reform targets by Member States.
Batteries: EIT InnoEnergy launches service to facilitate access to funding
Aware of the crucial role played by public funding in the development of the battery value chain, the Knowledge and Innovation Community dedicated to Energy (European Institute of Innovation and Technology's - EIT) has launched a new service to make it easier for start-ups and scale-ups to access public funds.
Commission approves €350 million German plan for renewable hydrogen
In a significant show of support for the Green Transition, the European Commission has approved a €350 million German scheme to rapidly grow the production of renewable hydrogen.
EIT published a new call for Raw Materials
A new € 10 million call for proposals has been launched by EIT RawMaterials, the Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which aims to support a secure and stable supply of raw materials in Europe by fostering innovation, education and entrepreneurship in European industrial ecosystems.
EU-US Summit bolsters tech and green economy ties
Taking place in Leuven, Belgium from 4-5 April 2024, the Trade and Technology Council (TTC)'s sixth ministerial meeting sets the stage for a new era of transatlantic cooperation.
A single EU digital platform for the future of Cohesion Policy
Despite being one of the European Union's most important policies, cohesion policy is not well known or understood by most citizens. Yet the Cohesion Funds will be crucial to sustaining growth in Europe and reducing regional disparities after 2026, when the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) will run out of money, unless the EU decides to issue new debt to finance it in the face of Mario Draghi's call for € 500 billion a year in investment to regain lost competitiveness.
Horizon Europe: green light for the 2025-2027 Strategic Plan
The European Commission has adopted the Strategic Plan 2025-2027 for Horizon Europe. The document defines three key guidelines for EU research and innovation funding for the last three years of the programme: green transition, digital transition and a more resilient, competitive, inclusive and democratic Europe. EU Ambassadors approve partial negotiating mandate on STEP, platform for strategic technologies
What is on the menu for the TSI support in 2024?
During the press conference on March 26th, Commissioner of Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira presented the Technical Support Instrument (TSI) of 2024 that will provide help and support for all member states to enhance national cohesion, to build strong capacities, to support reforms and to adapt to nowadays' challenges.
EU Budget: agreement reached on the 2025 financial framework
After the plenary session which took place in Strasbourg at the end of February 2024, and the Council's agreement reached on March 12th, 2024, the EU institutions have concocted the priorities and guidelines for the EU Commission about the 2025 multiannual financial framework (MFF).
EBRD establishes a 25 million dollars trade finance line for Ukraine’s biggest bank, Privatbank
The EBRD is enhancing its collaboration with Privatbank, Ukraine's largest systemically important bank, by providing a trade finance limit of 25 million dollars. This support aims to bolster Privatbank's expanding trade finance operations in Ukraine.
Ukraine: three calls under the EDIRPA programme have just been issued
On March 25th, 2024, three calls for proposals have been launched under the European Defense Industry Reinforcement through common Procurement Act (EDIRPA) initiative. Their aim is to bolster weaponry production to support the Ukrainian army in their defense against the still ongoing Russian aggression. Read also: The EU puts in place a defense strategy to bolster competitiveness in the sector
Renewables: a new HE Support call for proposals set to launch in fall
A new Horizon Europe call is set to open on September 17th, 2024, under the Horizon Europe programme. It aims to develop methodologies to facilitate the market uptake of renewable energy systems and help policymakers to elaborate more informed policies.
EU4Health partners with WHO for two projects on cross-border health threats
The European Commission partnered with the World Health Organization for two projects aimed ad reinforcing health security and preparedness against serious cross-border health threats. These include chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards, ad will be partly backed by EU4Health.
Batteries: EU partners with Norway to develop sustainable value chains
On March 21st, 2024, during the Eurosummit, the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kingdom of Norway for the establishment of sustainable battery and raw materials value chains. This is the kick-start of a long-term cooperation between the two parts in a sector which, lately, has acquired great strategic importance.
HERA launches a Wastewater Consortium with WHO and the Gates Foundation
On March 21st, 2024, the EC's Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (HERA) facility - partnered with 300 stakeholders, including the World Health Organization, the US CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the African CDC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - launched a new Global Consortium for Wastewater and Environmental Surveillance for Public Health (GLOWACON). 
PRIMA: the EP agrees on carrying on the programme under Horizon Europe
On February 27th, 2024, the European Parliament approved the prosecution of the PRIMA programme under the Horizon Europe framework, furthering the EU's financial participation in this project. The consensus follows a previous agreement between the EP and the EU Council, reached on December 13th, 2023.
AfDB earmarks 150 million dollars in a financial facility for intra-continent trade
On February 29th, 2024, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has endorsed a 150 million dollars Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement facility between the African Development Bank and Trade & Development Bank (TDB).
The EC allotted 18 million euros for health advancements in rare diseases
The European Commission initiated a new joint action (JARDIN) on March 8th, 2024, aimed at enhancing the diagnosis, treatment, and care for patients afflicted with rare diseases across the Union. The Joint Action brings together all EU Member States plus Norway and Ukraine and will address topics such as patient pathways and data management for rare diseases.
The EU puts in place a defense industrial strategy to bolster competitiveness in the sector
On March 5th, the European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell i Fontelles, showcased the outline of the European Defense Industrial Strategy (EDIS), a set of actions to support the competitiveness and readiness of its defense industry in the Union. 
Defense: the EC allocates 500 million euros to bolster ammo production
On March 15th, 2024, the European Commission allotted 500 million euros out of the 5 billions foreseen for the reinforcement of the EU defense industry. These 500 millions were part of the Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP), a measure aimed to urgently deliver ammunition, and if requested missiles, to Ukraine.
A brand new eight-level strategy from the European Investment Bank to support EU cohesion
During the second plenary session in February in Strasbourg, Members of the European Parliament welcomed a new resolution on financial support of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the EU.
European call for the internationalization of women-led startups
As a response to the still limited presence of women in the startup world, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched the Supernovas program in recent years, which includes a recent call aimed at supporting the internationalization of these entrepreneurial entities.
Interreg Europe: how the project support service works
"Ask for feedback" is the service offered within the framework of the Interreg Europe programme to applicants wishing to participate in calls for funding for interregional cooperation projects.
New overhaul approach from World Bank aims to boots its guarantee business
On February 28th, 2024, the World Bank Group has unveiled a significant revamp of its guarantee business aimed at providing simplicity, enhanced accessibility, and swifter execution via a novel, user-friendly marketplace. These reforms are pivotal in realizing the objective of tripling annual guarantee issuance to 20 billion dollars by 2030.
Ukraine: EIB backs reconstruction along a 161 million euro local budget
Two European Investment Bank recovery programs will facilitate the reconstruction of municipal infrastructure in over 100 cities and communities across Ukraine. This initiative follows the Ukrainian government's allocation of 161 million euros to local budgets, enabling Ukrainian cities to advance their restoration endeavors.
Artificial Intelligence Act: Europe crosses the finish line first
Last Wednesday 13 March 2024, the European Parliament, reunited in Strasbourg for the Plenary session gave the final approval, by an overwhelming majority, to the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), the first ever regulation in the sector.
Interreg Europe call 2024 opens in late March
This is the third Interreg Europe call, which allocates 130 million euros to fund interregional cooperation projects in all member states.
Horizon 2020: the call for R&D projects on advanced materials kicks off
The M-ERA.NET consortium has launched a new call to support international R&D projects related to innovative materials, including those used in batteries and low-carbon technologies.
The EU launched a 11-million-euro call for pan-European media outlets
Starting from March 4th, 2024, pan-European media outlets can apply to a new call for proposals worth a total of 11 million euros. This call for proposals falls under the Multimedia Actions, which finance general EU information, news, and programs for the public from a European viewpoint.
Digital Europe: new calls are open for AI, data storage and cloud infrastructure
On February 29th, 2024, the European Commission launched a series of calls under the Digital Europe Programme framework, with a 176 million euros budget, focused on artificial intelligence (AI), data, cloud-to-edge infrastructure, the implementation of digital public services, and digital skills. Let's see in detail what the themes are and who can apply to these calls.
Procure4Health launches a new call for better innovative procurement in healthcare
Over the past few years, Brussels has provided funding for a project that assists European public and private organizations involved in healthcare contracting to make greater use of the innovative procurement tool, fostering the circulation of best practices and providing technical assistance by also initiating calls, one of which opened this month.
The EU approves new trade agreements with Chile and Kenya
The first signatures of two new trade and political agreements with Chile and Kenya date back to last December 13, 2023, but only last week, on February 29, 2024 the European Parliament gave its approval during the Plenary session in Strasbourg.
Rural toolkit: Brussels’ way to support European rural areas
As the name suggests, the Rural toolkit is a digital platform proposed by the European Union that offers information about funding and support opportunities designed for rural areas. Let’s see how it is and how it works.
EIC Pathfinder 2024 challenges soon to be launched
As the year progresses, so does the lifecycle of the European Innovation Council's 2024 calls for proposals. Among the latest information arriving from Brussels on the topic, notably, are the EIC Pathfinder Challenges 2024 Guides which will open in late June. Such calls are targeted to researchers or small research consortia working on specific emerging innovative technologies with still-low TRLs, and those will join two other EIC 2024 currently open calls: the EIC Accelerator 2024 call and the EIC Pathfinder Open 2024 call.
Sustainable raw materials: the EU signs an agreement with Rwanda
On February 19th, 2024, the EU signed an agreement to strengthen Rwanda's role in fostering sustainable development and resilient value chains across Africa. The agreement falls under the Global Gateway umbrella.
Artificial Intelligence: what the two incoming Digital Europe calls entail
On February 29th, 2024, a Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) call, and a Grants for Procurement call, will be open for submission. They both aim to provide harmonized tools and frameworks that will be integrated in the future AI Act.
Renewable energy: the new HE call for market development is on the way
In the fall of 2024, a new Horizon Europe call will be open for submission. It will focus on developing markets and financial frameworks for a wider uptake of renewable energy systems (RES) in the energy, industrial and residential sectors.
Hydrogen industry in Europe: the progress made so far
On February 16th, 2024, EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, delivered a speech during the International Hydrogen Colloquium “Creating a European & Worldwide Market” in Liège, Belgium. The speech outlined some important milestones reached in the hydrogen industry development in Europe.
Two Just Transition Mechanism calls are open for submissions
The Just Transition Mechanism (JTM) calls for proposals are still open for submission. These include standalone projects and framework loans, all aimed to facilitate digital and green transition projects all over the EU.
Brussels answers farmers with easings. The EU-27 set to amend the CAP
The Council welcomes simplification proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy presented to the Belgian presidency by the European Commission over the past few days to reduce administrative burdens on farmers. A first response to the tractor protests, also sprawled out in Brussels during the Agrifish Council, that Member States would like to complement with further medium- to long-term measures, including amendments of the CAP's core regulations.
Health funding: the 2024 EU4Health call calendar is here
Brussels released the EU4Health 2024 timetable for both grant and tender calls. Albeit still indicative and subject to possible change, the information is very useful for companies, NGOs, and other public and private bodies potentially interested in the European Health Program. Overall, there are over 350 million euros on the table.
EU Council endorses the new EIB Group governance strategy
During the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting (Ecofin) in Ghent on February 23rd, 2024, the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group President, Nadia Calviño, had her first strategic exchange with the Ministers. She presented eight core priorities for boosting cohesion, the green and digital transitions, security, and defense.
Capital Markets Union: another agreement reached within the EU Council
On February 26th, 2024, the Council of the EU adopted new regulations under the Capital Markets Union framework, marking significant novelties in the field. Crafted to enhance investor protection, uphold financial stability, and foster investment across the EU, these regulations introduce critical provisions focused on enhancing the oversight of Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and streamlining the establishment of simplified investment funds.
The European Commission seeks allies for Small Modular Reactors
On February 9th, 2024, the European Commission launched a call for application for anyone interested in joining the industrial alliance on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). This ties in with the climatic objectives of the EC about climate neutrality and competitiveness.
European funds: EU Parliament gives green light for revision of MFF 2021-27
The plenary of the European Parliament approves the agreement on the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 reached with the Council. In addition to the 50 billion for Ukraine, the MFF mid-term review increases allocations for migration, defense and emergency aid. Limited investment in STEP, which - with the exception of European Defense Fund investments - only gets more flexible use of already available European funding. While several programmes - from Horizon to NDCI - lose resources to fund new priorities.
Bioeconomy: in April the new calls of the Circular Bio-based Europe JU
A new round of calls will open late next April from the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU), a partnership funded by Horizon Europe and the industries to promote research, innovation and development projects for new bio-based technologies and solutions in Europe.
Cohesion Policy: the 2024 edition of the REGIOSTARS Awards kicks off
Companies, associations, and PAs that have received grants and funding from European structural funds can apply for their projects and compete for EU recognition until May 31, 2024.
Theory and Practice of the Regional policy by Ugo Fratesi
Professor of Regional Economics and Policy at Politecnico di Milano in Italy and Editor-in-Chief of Spatial Economic Analysis, Ugo Fratesi just published his last textbook, “Regional Policy: Theory and Practice” by Routledge. An inspection in the EU's main investment policy.
Sneak preview of LIFE 2023 calls for environment, climate, energy transition and circular economy
Calls 2023 of the LIFE programme, which supports projects for environmental protection, climate and the circular economy, will be published in mid-April. Calls dedicated to energy transition will arrive in mid-May.
Youth4Cooperation kicks off: the voice of youth for the future of Cohesion Policy
The European Commission launches "Youth4Cooperation," a call to foster the inclusion of European youth within the Cohesion Policy 2028-2034. The call looks at the future of European territorial cooperation and will select three organizations working with youth in Europe in order to engage the younger generation in consultation processes on post-2027 European funds. Cohesion: outcomes and recommendations on the new policy
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